To begin with, you may not want to read this post if you haven’t seen the movie as for there are major spoilers! You may have read my last post where I analyzed the movie Halloween, this post is a break down of a more recent movie, Get Out and the real horror with in it.
Get out is a movie that has so many factors that contributes to the horror, the helplessness, mistrust and the gory aspect that makes you cringe and look away. However, in my opinion the mistrust, in other words, the unexpected and helplessness is the real horror in this movie. Early in the movie Chris, the African American protagonist, has doubts about the visit to his white girlfriends house in a deserted area, surrounded by forest. The father of the girl friend also mentioned to Chris that the nearest house is across a lake. This just contributes to the fact that if something were to happen he would be stranded.
Furthermore, at the beginning of the movie, after the car crashed, you got a sense that the police would be biased therefore, wouldn’t be on Chris’s side since they were adamant for his ID even though he wasn’t the driver. This just devotes to the idea that Chris is even more secluded and helpless if something were to happen.
The other major factor of the horror in the movie, is simply the mistrust and unexpected role of the girlfriend and family. The family to the viewers looked like a classic middle class family, “the kind of people who shop at Trader Joe’s”(The Guardian). Throughout the movie, the girlfriend was a significant character that showed empathy and awareness of the racist comments that were directed towards Chris. In some cases she would be more outraged by her families comments than Chris. This blatantly conceptualized that Rose was on Chris’s side, as a result is trusted by the audience and Chris. The audience wouldn’t believe that the one good white person is also evil, but at the end you discover the twisted reveal that Rose is indeed in the picture which is what makes the movie so clever but terrifying. The audience go away with a thought of, who can I trust?
Unlike Halloween where it was a challenge to depict the motivation for the killing, the killings in Get Out have a bit more context behind them. Right off the bat, when Chris arrived at the middle class, white family’s house, it was obvious that the family had a connection with people of colour. Through out the story the family showed more and more power and control over their black servants, almost like the are being controlled like puppets on a string. When the silent auction for Chris happens, it is clear that the whole family want power over the people of colour and look at them as objects.
In doing so, the father (a surgeon), takes their brain away and replaces it with a white persons brain. The soul of the victim is then put into a “sunken place” trapping them and allowing the white brain to take control. This restricts the black person from having a voice and control over their actions.
The director, Jordan Peele also incorporates sound effects and certain objects to enhance the horror. The movie uses the soundtracks and sound effects to heighten the suspense in the movie. The use of repetition in the sound effects are a trigger and enables the viewer to sense when something bad is about to happen. For example, a high pitched violin effect would play when Chris detected something was off. In similar fashion, there are very specific sounds that are emphasized such as the stirring of the tea and the flash of the camera which made the audience really pay attention to those effects. The flash of the camera was related to bringing back the soul of the victims of the “sunken place” back for a short period of time. The flash capturing the soul is a representation of the power of technology in today’s society. With these emphasized details really makes the viewer pay attention and wonder why use these sound effects?
The stirring of the tea was a representation of the hypnosis by the mother and every time you hear the stirring, you knew the mother was going to take charge. Another perspective of why the tea was chosen as the hypnosis tool, is because it is relating way back in history to the European colonialism tied to the tea trade. Furthermore, there were other techniques such as the silence whenever Chris left the scenario, this implied that Chris was their focal point and target throughout the whole movie and when he was out the picture there is silence. Silence is also a good way to add suspense, the unknowing of when there is about to be a jump scare.
As well as commenting on historical events, Jordan Peele does an exceptional job of incorporating modern connections and commenting on today’s society such as stereotypes. To be specific, the stereotypes of the people of colour, Chris. Immediately in the scene with the police officer and the couple as I mentioned earlier, the officer automatically asks for ID from Chris even though he wasn’t the driver.
This implies that the African Americans are stereotyped as people who cause trouble and need to be looked over, even if innocent. Some more stereotypes of Chris we see is the during the family get together, the comments Chris receives from various family members such as suggesting he plays sports and feeling his arm strength is showing the stereotype that he plays basketball which is a very black dominated sport.
Throughout the movie there are many symbols that are reflecting on a historical aspect or are in fact foreshadowing. Early in the movie, there is a scene where Rose hits a deer whilst driving to the house. When Chris looks down, staring at the dead deer, the viewer gets a sense that the dead dear is foreshadowing his future by entering the house. Proof of this is when Chris is trapped in the basement and looks up only to find the dead deers head hanging on the wall. The deer is also a representation of Chris’s innocence. The fact that Chris grabs the deer head and kills Rose’s father with it shows the audience that his has lost his innocence and is now on the run to escape. Therefor, flipping into his survival instincts.
Now to reflect back on Frankenstein, Get Out and Frankenstein where very different and don’t have that much in common. However, both Frankenstein and Get Out are filled with plot twists and suspense. Throughout the story of Frankenstein, you are on edge since you don’t know what the creature will do next, same goes for Rose’s family.
Get Out has a significant separation to any normal horror film. They have incorporated issues in society that can touch so many people universally making it so popular.